Religion and Partisanship in Canada



Using a survey of three thousand Canadian adults conducted by the Angus Reid Group in the autumn of 1996, we examine the continuing role of religion in shaping partisan preferences. We find that traditional religious alignments still have some impact, but are being reshaped by both religious and political developments. We find that Evangelical Protestants are drawn toward the new Reform Party, Mainline Protestants still tend toward the Progressive Conservatives, and Catholics—both English-and French-speaking—remain the bulwark of the Liberal Party. The New Democratic Party, however, finds its greatest resonance among secular Canadians, and the Bloc Quebecois is strongest among nominal, rather than practicing, French-speaking Catholics. In multivariate analysis, these religious variables stand up well against other influences in explaining partisan preferences.